PACE Funding Now Available in Maryland for Commercial Solar Projects!
PACE Funding is Now Available for Some Counties in Maryland
We are pleased to announce the emergence of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) funding for Commercial Solar Projects here in Maryland. Currently only available in Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s Counties, PACE-funding opportunities are expected to spread into neighboring counties within the next few years here in Maryland.
What Is PACE?
As stated above, PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, and is a policy that gives business owners an affordable way to mitigate the high upfront costs associated with larger-scale commercial clean energy projects by attaching the amortization of a loan to your yearly property tax payments. Huh?
Here’s the nuts and bolts: in partnership with the State of Maryland, Greenworks Lending provides loans to commercial businesses wishing to invest in clean energy and/or efficiency upgrades. The loan is then paid back through your property taxes over the course of 20 years. The loan is added as a lien to your property taxes for the life of the loan. It does not raise your property taxes by assessing the added value of the solar, but simply adds the loan payments to your yearly property taxes.
In order to apply for PACE funding the borrower in question must be the private owner (i.e. not the government) of the property. The borrower cannot have gone through bankruptcy. The loan amount can be up to 20-30% of assessed value of the building and land of the property.
What’s So Great About PACE?
PACE makes is super-easy to take out a loan, and it gives businesses first-year cash flow. How?
In the first place, PACE allows businesses to lower their overhead immediately by either eliminating or significantly reducing their utility bills. Additionally, with PACE the business owner is able to utilize the Federal 30% Tax Credit, any local incentives, Net Metering, the Maryland Energy Administration Grant, MACRS and the production of SRECs.
Through PACE, Greenworks Lending offers “sculpted ammortization” which means that the bulk of your loan will be paid back within the first 6 years of the array having been installed. For instance, if a borrower takes out $100,000 in PACE financing, during the first year, the borrower would receive $30,000 back from the Federal government on top of being able to depreciate 50% using MACRS. After taxes the borrower will get back an additional $50,000 for having invested in solar. During the first year, the business will pay back a larger portion of their loan. Because of the incentives coming back to the borrower within the first 5-years, the loan payments at the beginning are higher and allow the borrower to virtually pay back the bulk of the loan within the first 6-years. This makes the remaining payments on the loan super-affordable. Pretty awesome!
MSSI is a Registered PACE Contractor
Here at MSSI we’re proud to be a registered PACE Contractor for the State Of Maryland. We can help you look at solar for your business and whether PACE will work for you. PACE really creates an affordable alternative to leasing and power purchase agreements and allow businesses to leverage solar power as an investment and create tax-free value for their properties. Really, its a win-win.